CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - On the same day Mark Anthony Cox made his first court appearance, a memorial of flowers and balloons was growing outside the Flying Biscuit Cafe off Rea Road.
Police say Cox stabbed Danielle Watson, who was pregnant, during a robbery at the south Charlotte restaurant Friday night. Watson was the manager at closing time, Cox was her co-worker.
The restaurant reopened for the first time since the crime on Wednesday.
Watson was planning to get married this weekend, instead family and friends will gather for her funeral. (Click here to read story about planned wedding)
The District Attorney's Office has said it will seek an additional murder charge against Cox for killing Watson's unborn child. He was arrested in Fayetteville Monday afternoon.
Cox was released from prison in November after serving three years for committing an armed robbery and stealing.
Renee Davis says she worked with the victim, Danielle Watson, and her alleged killer Mark Cox at the Flying Biscuit Cafe.
Davis says Cox, who had just been hired in December after serving prison time for robbery, worked in the kitchen. Watson, hired just a week or two after Cox, was a manager there and had access to the safe.
"It's just so hard. She was such a good girl," Davis said about Watson.
Cox started working at the restaurant shortly after he was released from prison for robbery with a dangerous weapon.
"He had told me he had been falsely accused of robbery. I didn't know he served time for it," Davis said.
On Wednesday, Flying Biscuit Cafe owner, Hugh Bigham, released a statement about Watson's death.
"We will continue to work with the authorities regarding the investigation in an effort to see that the perpetrator is prosecuted to the full extent of the law," the Bigham said.
Related article: Read the full statement from Flying Biscuit here
"The Flying Biscuit is also working closely with our employees as they deal with this tragic situation. Grief counseling is being provided to all employees as needed. "
"That day the only thing he mentioned to me was his baby's mama had texted him the day before (the robbery) and wanted him to send her some money so he could move. And he says 'I'm not sending her any money, I don't have any money.'"
Police say Watson's body was discovered by a man trying to empty the dumpster behind a Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Rea Road early Saturday morning.
He immediately contacted police, who connected Watson to a robbery at the Flying Biscuit Cafe at the Stonecrest Shopping Center. However, some communication trouble among police lead them to the wrong location four miles away.
Watson's parents told WBTV that, as a manager of Flying Biscuit, Watson had the combination to the restaurant's safe.
Danielle's parents talked with us over the phone, and shared some disturbing details about what they'd learned.
"After [Cox] left my daughter," David Watson said, "he took her car and I guess he maybe got $2600 at the most at the safe...he went home. That's where he lives with his parents across the street, and his sister, and from what I hear he told his sister what happened."
CMPD said Watson's fiance received a phone call late Friday night that led him to believe Watson was in trouble. He tried to get back in touch with her, but when he couldn't, he called police.
There was a mix-up though with the address and it took several hours for police to figure out all the details.
Watson's case would be the first one prosecuted under the "Unborn Victim's Act." The new law took effect December 1. It allows prosecutors to charge an offender with murder of a fetus even if the offender or victim did not know about the pregnancy.
"It hits close to home," said Fred Merrill, owner of the nearby Meat House. Merrill says his business is taking donations and using a percentage of sales to help Watson's family cover funeral expenses.
He said the crime is also changing the way he does business.
"It makes me think of safety and security in a whole new way," said Merrill. He said he plans to do more thorough background checks, handle their cash differently, and use a buddy-system to escort employees.
There's a memorial fund also set up in Watson's name at Wells Fargo.